Devotional Form: Films by Nathaniel Dorsky
With the recent release and tour of Nathaniel Dorsky’s late-career eight-film masterpiece, The Arboretum Cycle, his status as one of the living greats of experimental cinema has been cemented. However, unlike many of Dorsky’s contemporaries, living or dead, he has never wavered in his opposition to digitizing his work, and any opportunity to see his early films is eagerly awaited by fans of his beautiful “Devotional Cinema.” Shot between 1966 and 1970 in New York City and rural New Jersey, shelved for a decade, and then meticulously edited for two years, Hours for Jerome (1982) introduced an artist whose luminous images and passion for the redemptive, gracious power of film remain unmatched. The atypical, experimental Alaya (1987) is a lush and textured analysis of the possibilities of emulsion, and Triste (1996) established the prolific latter half of Dorsky’s career in which painstakingly edited and gorgeously composed films began to appear almost yearly. Curated by Dave Burnham (CMS) as part of the Graduate Student Curatorial Program.
(1966-1996, 92 min., 16mm from Canyon Cinema)